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iFi Audio Nano iDSD discussion + impression - Page 6

post #76 of 1712

As has been suggested, I've tried turning the power on first before connecting the Nano iDSD to a computer, and this does indeed give much better sonics than using USB bus power. This mirrors my iPhone connection experience.

 

Next question - since it is possible to run the device purely in battery mode and it is not relying on noisy USB power from the computer, how sensitive will it be to the use of expensive USB cables. Will they be effective, or not at all...

post #77 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by semeniub View Post
 

As has been suggested, I've tried turning the power on first before connecting the Nano iDSD to a computer, and this does indeed give much better sonics than using USB bus power. This mirrors my iPhone connection experience.

 

Next question - since it is possible to run the device purely in battery mode and it is not relying on noisy USB power from the computer, how sensitive will it be to the use of expensive USB cables. Will they be effective, or not at all...

The cable is most certainly a factor with USB, even in terms of the getting just the bits to the other end. I wish it wasnt. I ended up using a "jumper" that has two ends with no cable in between. That sounds better than my Audioquest Carbon. I got it at Radio Shack. Of course my laptop sits on the floor beside my other gear.

post #78 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by earwaxxer View Post
 

The cable is most certainly a factor with USB, even in terms of the getting just the bits to the other end. I wish it wasnt. I ended up using a "jumper" that has two ends with no cable in between. That sounds better than my Audioquest Carbon. I got it at Radio Shack. Of course my laptop sits on the floor beside my other gear.

I've had the same experience with my other DAC's (which is why I have 2 split USB cables), but I'm hoping that because the iFi nano iDSD can be run off it's own internal battery power, this will be less important. Will check this later in the week when I have more time.

post #79 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by semeniub View Post
 

As has been suggested, I've tried turning the power on first before connecting the Nano iDSD to a computer, and this does indeed give much better sonics than using USB bus power. This mirrors my iPhone connection experience.

 

Next question - since it is possible to run the device purely in battery mode and it is not relying on noisy USB power from the computer, how sensitive will it be to the use of expensive USB cables. Will they be effective, or not at all...

 

I have a moderately fancy usb cable ($300) and ifi iusb power supply in my main loudspeaker setup prior to my SPDIF converter. In my desktop headphone setup I use an ifi iDAC and have experimented with putting the fancy cable and iUSB power in the chain. There is improvement, but not nearly enough to make me throw the $500+ at incrementally improving the $300 iDAC. The power supply is a nice improvement, but the cable is just silly in that setup as it costs almost as much as the iDAC itself. I would be curious to see if the iDSD scales any better with cables than the iDAC.

post #80 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by KmanChu View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by semeniub View Post
 

As has been suggested, I've tried turning the power on first before connecting the Nano iDSD to a computer, and this does indeed give much better sonics than using USB bus power. This mirrors my iPhone connection experience.

 

Next question - since it is possible to run the device purely in battery mode and it is not relying on noisy USB power from the computer, how sensitive will it be to the use of expensive USB cables. Will they be effective, or not at all...

 

I have a moderately fancy usb cable ($300) and ifi iusb power supply in my main loudspeaker setup prior to my SPDIF converter. In my desktop headphone setup I use an ifi iDAC and have experimented with putting the fancy cable and iUSB power in the chain. There is improvement, but not nearly enough to make me throw the $500+ at incrementally improving the $300 iDAC. The power supply is a nice improvement, but the cable is just silly in that setup as it costs almost as much as the iDAC itself. I would be curious to see if the iDSD scales any better with cables than the iDAC.


I purchased the iFi I Link and used it with my fancy USB cable and wasn't impressed.  I read about the I USB and Gemini Cable, purchased them, and couldn't believe the improvement.  It was like a new setup including DAC, but I was using my same old Audio-GD DAC.  I then purchased the I Purifier, for even more improvement.  I now have a fantastic sounding setup thanks to iFi Micro, and a fancy Pure Silver USB cable and MF V-link for sale!

 

Thank you iFi Micro!

post #81 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by cute View Post
 


I purchased the iFi I Link and used it with my fancy USB cable and wasn't impressed.  I read about the I USB and Gemini Cable, purchased them, and couldn't believe the improvement.

To which end of the iFi Micro are you connecting the Gemini cable?  I have read about people connect it in three different ways:  a) directly to the computer to two USB outputs and then to the iFi micro  b) from the iFi micro dual outputs to the USB DAC input. c) using two Gemini cables to make the connections in a) and b) above

post #82 of 1712

I am using the blue USB cable supplied for the I Link from computer > I USB > Gemini cable dual output > I Purifier > I Link > Neotech NEVD-2001 BNC Cryo Digital Cable > Audio-GD NFB2 > Audioquest Colorado Interconnects > Denon 2808 > Audioquest Colorado Interconnects > Ming DA 8407 Zone 2 (Headphones)/Hafler XL 280 Zone 1 (Speakers) > Kimber PSB Extension Cable > Detachable Headphone Cables > Beyerdynamic T1, DT880 600 Ohm, DT990 600 ohm.

post #83 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by cute View Post
 


I purchased the iFi I Link and used it with my fancy USB cable and wasn't impressed.  I read about the I USB and Gemini Cable, purchased them, and couldn't believe the improvement.  It was like a new setup including DAC, but I was using my same old Audio-GD DAC.  I then purchased the I Purifier, for even more improvement.  I now have a fantastic sounding setup thanks to iFi Micro, and a fancy Pure Silver USB cable and MF V-link for sale!

 

Thank you iFi Micro!

 

Don't tell me this! I had just about convinced myself I was done with buying stuff for a while, but I have been curious about the Gemini for a while. I am definitely drinking the ifi koolaid at this point and wouldn't be surprised if their cable did work particularly well with their products. There was a discussion about the gemini a while back on the computer audiophile boards and the consensus was that the Gemini was a good cable, and good value for the money but not especially groundbreaking. Now you have my curiosity up again ...

post #84 of 1712


For me, the iFi products are a game changer.......check out their Facebook page for all the details!

post #85 of 1712

just received it and charging it!

 

1) is there any "best" position for the volume knob when using the rca outputs to my Hegel integrated amplifier?

 

2) couldn't find any info about headphone amp. power in various loads (32Ohm,64Ohm etc)...is the mentioned 80mW for 16Ohm?

post #86 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by soulkeeper View Post
 

just received it and charging it!

 

1) is there any "best" position for the volume knob when using the rca outputs to my Hegel integrated amplifier?

I'm afraid it is a bit of trial and error, depending on your configurations and amp.  I suggest that you connect the RCA outputs to the DAC and start with low volume levels and experiment if there's any clipping if you go all the way up to 60-80% of maximum volume.  I've had experiences with different equipment with different behaviors and outcome:

 

a) My Yamaha receiver has no issues with the iDSD set at even maximum volume

b) When I feed the iDSD RCA out to my Control4 distribution gear (controller, Media Bridge and Amplifiers), the music is noticeable clipped when the iDSD is at max volume.  The easy fix is just to turn the volume down to 60-80% of maximum

c) If you will use the iDSD as both headphone amp and also pre-amp output (let's say to feed remote speakers), please do not turn the volume knob all the way up, otherwise you will probably damage your headphones or your ears

post #87 of 1712

I would be currious if anyone has both the Schiit and ifi iDSD Nano and how they compare. I have the Gungnir. I have to say, I'm more than a bit disappointed with it. It is too 'shouty' in the midrange with my maggies. Too distracting. Cant focus on anything else.. I even adjusted the ribbon crossover point. Still no good. What I'm listening to now is this ridiculously cheap DAC that I got a Parts Express on a whim. Running it on battery, with the ULink doing USB/SPDIF duties. - Anyway - as soon as I get my Nano I will report back (after some burn in of course).....


Edited by earwaxxer - 1/21/14 at 4:45pm
post #88 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by earwaxxer View Post

I would be currious if anyone has both the Schiit and ifi iDSD Nano and how they compare. I have the Gungnir. I have to say, I'm more than a bit disappointed with it. It is too 'shouty' in the midrange with my maggies. Too distracting. Cant focus on anything else.. I even adjusted the ribbon crossover point. Still no good. What I'm listening to now is this ridiculously cheap DAC that I got a Parts Express on a whim. Running it on battery, with the ULink doing USB/SPDIF duties. - Anyway - as soon as I get my Nano I will report back (after some burn in of course).....
I'm actually interested in how idsd and the Loki compare with DSD files.
post #89 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by earwaxxer View Post
 

I would be currious if anyone has both the Schiit and ifi iDSD Nano and how they compare. I have the Gungnir. I have to say, I'm more than a bit disappointed with it. It is too 'shouty' in the midrange with my maggies. Too distracting. Cant focus on anything else.. I even adjusted the ribbon crossover point. Still no good. What I'm listening to now is this ridiculously cheap DAC that I got a Parts Express on a whim. Running it on battery, with the ULink doing USB/SPDIF duties. - Anyway - as soon as I get my Nano I will report back (after some burn in of course).....

Wow - I have read mostly good reviews about Schiit DACs, even though I don't own one.  I'm curious to read your assessment after you listen to the iDSD, as the price point of the Gungnir is 4X the iDSD, so any comparison would have to take that into account.  It would be really Schiiti for them if the iDSD is better at a fraction of the price.


Edited by ticos442 - 1/22/14 at 12:10pm
post #90 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by ticos442 View Post
 

Wow - I have read mostly good reviews about Schiit DACs, even though I don't own one.  I'm curious to read your assessment after you listen to the iDSD, as the price point of the Gungnir is 4X the iDSD, so any comparison would have to take that into account.  It would be really Shiiti for them if the iDSD is better at a fraction of the price.


True... as you all know, its hard/impossible to hear a piece of kit before you buy it, so getting something that doesnt work out with a particular system happens a lot. Thats why we are here talking about it, and people are hesitant to spend a chunk of change only to sell it on ebay for half. Honestly, my personal 'observation' of how the Gungnir sounds in my system is based on listening over time, but more so on comparisons with some of my other DACs. Especially this little gem from Parts Express - http://www.parts-express.com/fiio-d03k-coaxial-optical-dac-digital-analog-converter--230-120. It made me think that more is not necessarily better. I took the DAC apart and it has Cirrus Logic chips in it. There are other factors, I run the DAC straight in to my Emotiva XPA-2. Could be a synergy factor - Anyway - IMO these new inexpensive DACs with modern clocks, chips, op amps and other inexpensive techniques could well be the future of the everyman audiophile digital front end.

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